OCCURRENCE OF TURSIOPS SPECIES AND OTHER LARGE MARINE VERTEBRATES IN TICAO PASS, MASBATE, PHILIPPINESEdna R. Sabater
Spatial distribution of cetaceans and other vertebrate megafauna was investigated in this study. Cetacean surveys within Ticao Pass were conducted using dedicated line transect method covering 430.60 km of on-effort distance in an approximate area of 874 km2 . Single-species encounters were recorded for the common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, with a relative abundance of 16 animals per 1000 km linear distance. Estimated group size range was 10-30 which was found to co-occur with seabird species 31% of the time. Water depth at sighting was used as parameter to determine if a correlation exists, which was found not significant for the species. Rhincodon typus and Manta birostris were recorded from established ecotourism sites within the study area.
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